The End of Marriage

Steven Mosher
PRI Weekly Briefing
13 July 2004
Vol. 6 / No. 25
Reproduced with Permission

I was once an anthropologist, that strange and dying subdiscipline of sociology that studies the social arrangements of various primitive tribes. There is a vast array of social arrangements and cultural exotica to be found among these often-marginal groups, and the hundreds of ethnographies that have been written often make for fascinating reading.

At the same time, there are some striking underlying commonalities across cultures and across time. One of these is marriage, as an exclusively heterosexual institution. While there are many different family types, from nuclear families to extended families including several generations and several degrees of kinship, these are all built around the one relationship that can provide for the continuation of the family, the fruitful bond of man and woman.

If any human group ever adopted homosexuality as the chief principal around which to organize society, it died out. No such society can long exist, except in the imagination of homosexual activists, since it would fail to provide for the future in the most fundamental way: by reproducing itself.

Homosexual subcultures are therefore necessarily predatory, perpetuating themselves by poaching off the larger heterosexual society. The demand by homosexual activists that their liaisons be not only recognized, but also validated, by the state must be viewed in part as a recruiting ploy. If marriage between homosexuals is allowed, then this will expose children of normal sexual inclinations to a wide variety of homosexual ideas and advances.

The decay of the family already means that half the children born in the 1990s will spend at least part of their childhood in single-parent homes.(1) Such children, lacking in many cases a male role model, are quite vulnerable to advances by older homosexuals.

If same sex marriage is legalized nationwide, public school readers will soon be filled with stories like Heather has two mommies. It will be taught in social science courses that the traditional definition of marriage as a bond a man and a women is outdated, obsolete and intolerant. Man/man and woman/woman liaisons will be hailed as the model for the future, equal to or better than traditional marriage. Teenagers confused about their sexualityand there are manywill be particularly vulnerable.

A world of shattered families peopled with millions of isolated and miseducated teenagers would be a paradise for homosexual predators. But it would be Hell to live in.

The majority of the American people would never approve same-sex marriage at the ballot box, but we are perilously close to having it imposed on us by the courts.

As President Bush, who strongly supports the Federal Marriage Amendment, has written, "When judges insist on imposing their arbitrary will on the people, the only alternative left to the people is an amendment to the Constitution the only law a court cannot overturn. A constitutional amendment should never be undertaken lightly yet to defend marriage, our nation has no other choice."

A great deal is at stake in this matter. The union of a man and woman in marriage is the most enduring and important human institution, and the law can teach respect or disrespect for that institution. If our laws teach that marriage is the sacred commitment of a man and a woman, the basis of an orderly society, and the defining promise of a life, that strengthens the institution of marriage. If courts create their own arbitrary definition of marriage as a mere legal contract, and cut marriage off from its cultural, religious and natural roots, then the meaning of marriage is lost, and the institution is weakened. The Massachusetts court, for example, has called marriage "an evolving paradigm." That sends a message to the next generation that marriage has no enduring meaning, and that ages of moral teaching and human experience have nothing to teach us about this institution.

For ages, in every culture, human beings have understood that traditional marriage is critical to the well being of families. And because families pass along values and shape character, traditional marriage is also critical to the health of society. Our policies should aim to strengthen families, not undermine them. Changing the definition of traditional marriage will undermine the family structure.(2)

That, of course, is precisely what homosexual activists have in mind.